This week’s mission is simple and fun–gift planning. Let’s jump right in like me on Christmas morning diving into my mom’s cookie platter. Mmm-mmm.

Twelve Weeks of Simple Christmas - Week 3: Plan Your Gift List

Planning Your Gift List

1. Write down everyone (and I do mean everyone) who receives gifts from you at Christmas.

2. Jot down what you would like to give them this Christmas.

3. Go back and look at your budget from week 2. Write next to each person’s name how much you can spend.

4. Cross off the items you would like to give people for Christmas, and write down what you realistically can give them.

5. Once your list is solid, start buying, baking, or making with a goal of being finished by December 1. My goal is November 1–ack! If are planning on homemade gifts, schedule a timeframe for making them and include it in your calendar. (Obviously, food gifts may need an extension on that–nothing says “Jesus is born” like a container of stale cookies.)

6. Tattoo your list on your arm. That’s my way of saying stick to the list and record everything! If you see an amazing tool your husband needs and it’s on sale and you have to buy it, do so, but cross off “ugly sweater,” so you’re not over-spending. Also, include the cost of everything you buy, even the chapstick for his stocking and the ingredients for the cookies you’re giving the mailman. You might have to adjust (or live on beans and rice for a while) to make your budget work.

I’ve got a few tips for creative frugality in my next post. Until then, see you in aisle 7.

Accountability Time

How did you do on last week’s mission, budgeting your holidays?

I did approach my husband three times about establishing a workable Christmas budget.

I did not succeed.

In the real world, which is where I live right now, sometimes people are busy, evasive, or disinterested in thrilling topics such as the budget. In our case, I need to work on my timing–no man wants to talk budgets during a Packer game, duh! If that’s your situation, do what I’m doing, and move ahead the best you can based on what you know. I know what our budget has been in previous years, and I know it is smaller this year, so I can write down those numbers and show them to my man as a conversation igniter after a green and gold win. So why haven’t I done that? Good question.

How are you doing on your missions? Share your progress in the comments.

Don't stress this Christmas!